Conference of Solidarity Support Organizations

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Conference of Solidarity Support Organizations (CSSO) was an international organization of national groups that supported the trade union Solidarnosc and human rights in Poland during the final years of the Polish People's Republic. Member organizations agreed to the CSSO Letter of Agreement (Media:CSSO Letter of Agreement.pdf) of January 8/9, 1983.

History[edit]

The CSSO emerged from a series of informal interorganizational meetings throughout 1982 among Solidarity support organizations. To provide a formal basis for cooperation, and to increase the unity of these support organizations, organizers drafted an agreement. the CSSO Letter of Agreement (Media:CSSO Letter of Agreement.pdf)on January 8/9, 1983 for groups to sign.

To join the CSSO, organizations had to ratify the CSSO Letter. In it, groups agreed to support and recognize Solidarity in Poland, along with the Coordinating Office Abroad of NSZZ Solidarnosc (based in Brussels, Belgium). Member organizations still had the freedom to support their own initiatives in Poland and were not required to support the Brussels office, nor proscribe any other links or channels with Solidarity.

The CSSO was designed as a forum in which member organizations could exchange ideas and share experiences pertaining to protest activities in Poland. The organization held meetings in which member representatives would consider joint CSSO resolutions and actions. The CSSO did not control the activities or funds of the member organizations. .

The Coordinating Committee of the CSSO and its administrators had no executive powers. They could only recommend action to the CSSO Participating Organizations; participation in any CSSO action or program was strictly voluntary. In 1988 at a Paris meeting, an initiatives to create a more formal CSSO structure was defeated.

The CSSO ultimately included 46 organizations in 13 countries. The one major amendment to the CSSO agreement was the addition of regional associations within the CSSO structure.

Achievements[edit]

The greatest impact of the CSSO was in fostering trust among the leaders of the member organizations. This did indeed foster collaboration and thus improved the efficacy of numerous initiatives and programs.

Most of the accomplishments came from the member organizations themselves. These accomplishments range from: a massive smuggling of materials to Solidarity and other groups in Poland; to the above-ground Family-to-Family assistance to the families of the imprisoned and persecuted Solidarity activists; to the Independent Polish Agency news agency providing information and photographs to the news media across the globe; to the professional periodic publications such as Kontakt (Paris), Pogląd and Meinung (West Berlin), Voice of Solidarity (London), ARKA de Informaciones (Mexico City), and Porando-geppo (Tokyo); to political action, lobbying and raising awareness activities in every country; to assistance to the Brussels Coordinating Office and activists in their work on behalf of Solidarity; to sending financial resources to Solidarity and opposition groups in Poland.

The membership of the CSSO organizations consisted primarily of the citizens of the countries where these organizations were located and usually included members who were not of Polish heritage. David Phillips, the first CSSO Secretary, was not of Polish ancestry. In fact in some organizations, the majority were not of Polish heritage, though sometimes did include non-Poles who were nevertheless fluent in PolishYoshiho Umeda (CSSO Asian Coordinator), and Jan Axel Stolz, who served as CSSO Secretary.

CSSO Participating Organizations (1989)[edit]

  1. Solidarity Victorian Fellowship Notting Hill Victoria AUSTRALIA
  2. Action Group in Support of Solidarity Montreal Quebec CANADA
  3. Friends of Solidarity Kitchener Ontario CANADA
  4. Friends of Solidarity Edmonton Alberta CANADA
  5. Friends of Solidarnosc Association Vancouver BC CANADA
  6. Group of Solidarity in St. Catharines St. Catharines Ontario CANADA
  7. Polish Canadian Action Group Toronto Ontario CANADA
  8. Polish Socio-Political Group Independence-Solidarity Calgary Alberta CANADA
  9. Solidarity Support Committee of Toronto Toronto Ontario CANADA
  10. Solidarnosc Assistance Association Ottawa Ontario CANADA
  11. Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciół Solidarności - Winnipeg Winnipeg Manitoba CANADA
  12. Stot Solidarnosc Kobenhavn DENMARK
  13. Edition Spotkania Paris FRANCE
  14. KONTAKT Vanves FRANCE
  15. Radio Solidarnosc Paris FRANCE
  16. Solidarite pour Solidarnosc Roubaix FRANCE
  17. Committee to Support ISTU Solidarity in Japan Tokyo JAPAN
  18. Comite de Apoyo a Solidarnosc Mexico DF MEXICO
  19. Inst. De Estudios de Culture y Sociedades Europeas Mexico DF MEXICO
  20. Solidaridad Mexico Mexico DF MEXICO
  21. Solidarity Organization in New Zealand, Inc. Auckland NEW ZEALAND
  22. Solidaritet Norge-Polen Oslo NORWAY
  23. Polen-Solidaritetskommittee I Uppsala Uppsala SWEDEN
  24. Svenska Stodkommitten for Solidaritet Lund SWEDEN
  25. Polish Solidarity Campaign London UNITED KINGDOM
  26. Solidarity Action Committee - Manchester Manchester UNITED KINGDOM
  27. Voice of Solidarity - publishing committee London UNITED KINGDOM
  28. Wyre Forest Polish Solidarity Campaign Kidderminster Worc. UNITED KINGDOM
  29. Brotherhood of Solidarity Members Chicago IL USA
  30. Committee in Support of Solidarity Cleveland OH USA
  31. Committee of Solidarity Members - Former Political Prisoners New York, NY USA
  32. Friends of Solidarity Families Project Buffalo NY USA
  33. Friends of Solidarity, Inc Washington DC USA
  34. Polonia Solidarity Association Reading PA USA
  35. Solidarity - California Los Angeles CA USA
  36. Solidarity and Human Rights Association Buffalo NY USA
  37. Solidarity International New York NY USA
  38. Solidarity International of Connecticut, Inc. New Britain CT USA
  39. Solidarity Support Committee of Rhode Island Providence RI USA
  40. Solidarnosc Association Seattle WA USA
  41. Support of Solidarity Boston MA USA
  42. "Solidarnosc" - Venezuela Caracas VENEZUELA
  43. Arbeitsgruppe "Solidarnosc" - Eschweiler Achen Eschweiler WEST GERMANY
  44. Gessellschaft Solidarnosc, e.V. West Berlin
  45. Hilfskomitte Solidarnosc Mainz WEST GERMANY
  46. Solidarität der freien Polen in Bayern, e.V. München WEST GERMANY

CSSO Meetings[edit]

INTER-ORGANIZATIONAL MEETINGS PRIOR TO CSSO FOUNDING MEETING:

  • March 31, 1982 Hartford, CT – USA
  • April 17, 1982 Boston, MA – USA
  • July 17–18, 1982 Bethlehem, CT – USA
  • August 28, 1982 Boston, MA – USA
  • October 15–16, 1982 Washington, DC – USA
  • December 4, 1982 Watertown, CT – USA

CSSO MEETINGS:

  1. January 8–9, 1983 Buffalo, NY – USA founding meeting
  2. June 18–19, 1983 Cleveland, OH – USA
  3. October 29, 1983 Washington, DC – USA
  4. August 18–19, 1984 Toronto, Ontario – CANADA
  5. January 12, 1985 Norwalk, CT – USA
  6. February 16, 1985 New York, NY – USA
  7. May 18–19, 1985 London – UNITED KINGDOM
  8. December 14, 1985 Jersey City, NJ – USA
  9. May 24–25, 1986 Providence, RI – USA
  10. August 22–25, 1986 Lund – SWEDEN
  11. May 23–24, 1987 Toronto, Ontario – CANADA
  12. August 21–23, 1987 London – UNITED KINGDOM
  13. February 12–14, 1988 Los Angeles, CA – USA
  14. May 26–29, 1988 Paris – FRANCE
  15. October 14–16, 1988 Aachen – GERMANY
  16. March 16–19, 1989 Caracas – VENEZUELA
  17. December 8–10, 1989 West Berlin
  18. August 24–26, 1990 Aachen – GERMANY
  19. August 15–16, 1992 Kraków – POLAND dissolution meeting

25th Anniversary Informal gathering – September, 2007 – Warsaw, POLAND

CSSO Administrators[edit]

CSSO Moderator

Andre Blaszczynski (1983-1990)

CSSO Coordinator

Jozef Lebenbaum (1985-1990)
Ted Kontek (1983-1985)

CSSO Secretary

Miroslaw Ancypo (1987-1990)
David Phillips (1983-1990)
Jacek Slusarek (1987-1990)

CSSO North American Coordinator

Ewa Slusarek (1983-1990)

CSSO North American Secretary

Jacek Slusarek (1986-1990)

CSSO European Coordinator

Krzysztof Turowski (1986-1990)
Aleksander Zajac (1986-1990)

CSSO Asian Coordinator

Yoshiho Umeda (1982-1990)

CSSO Latin AmericanCoordinator

Olga Jarzebinska (1985-1990)

CSSO Canadian Coordinator

Leszek Prusinski (1984-1990)

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Repositories of CSSO and CSSO constituent organization documents

  1. Andre Blaszczynski
  2. Irene Dubicka-Morawska
  3. Ewa Slusarek
  4. Elizabeth Wasiutynski

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